Nitishwar Kumar discusses modalities to boost exports

Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor, Nitishwar Kumar chaired a weekly meeting at Civil Secretariat here today to discuss modalities to boost exports. The high level meeting was attended by Administrative Secretaries of Agriculture, Industries & Commerce, School Education, Higher Education, Civil Aviation, Mission Director Skill and Directors of various departments.

In the meeting, discussion was held regarding restructuring of existing Jammu & Kashmir Trade and Export Policy in line with the suggestions given by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations. It was briefed that products from various districts of the Union Territory have been shortlisted in accordance with One District One Product Program of the Government of India and their list will be placed before Apex Level Export Promotion Committee for approval. Promotional programs and workshops for awareness of public was also suggested at the meeting.

While discussing measures to ease exports, it was decided that the Government would reduce procedural formalities for export transactions by way of fast processing of export-related documents, like issuance of licenses and Import Export Codes and efforts would be made to integrate SWIFT, Single Window Interface for Trade system with the UT’s Single Desk Portal.

In order to eliminate logistics related issues, setting up of Multimodal Logistics Parks with the help of Government of India would be set up for which discussions are already underway. ‘Invest JK Desks’ would be established, preferably at JK House in metro cities and at offices of foreign embassies in India. Setting up of a State-Centre Coordination cell to review and act upon new developments related to the UT’s exports was also discussed during the course of the meeting. The need to frame SOPs for exporters’ grievance redressal was also discussed during the meet.

To fight counter branding, nine products of Jammu & Kashmir have been issued Geographical Indicator, GI Tags. The products include Kani Shawl, Kashmir Pashmina, Kashmir Sozani Craft, Kashmir Paper Machie, Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving, Khatamband, Kashmiri Hand Knotted Carpet and Kashmir Saffron and Basmati. Moreover, products like willow wicker, copperware, namdah carpet, gabba craft, tapestry, zari embroidery, leather embroidery, houseboat, shikara, bat and sakhta making have been identified for GI tags. Similarly, the process of registering GI tags for Basohli Paintings, Basohli Pashmina products, Kishtwarlois and Chikri Wood Craft has already been initiated.

The Principal Secretary lauded the efforts and stressed on the need to seek assistance of expert agencies with technical expertise for the purpose of getting GI tags for the UT’s products. Export Facilitation Centres would be set up to provide end to end ground support to artisans who are trying to access foreign markets. EFCs would also be integrated with Common Facility Centres to act as one stop solution for design, finance, operations, logistic, documentation, professional advice, branding and marketing etc, he added.

The Principal Secretary was of the view that the UT government must identify potential exporters and facilitate export of their products through containers or air cargo to global markets. The Industries & Commerce Department was further asked to address land issues pertaining to setting up of logistics parks.

Organising regular buyer-seller meets; marketing, promotion and publicity of handicraft and handloom products in the Gulf markets was also discussed in the meeting.

In the agriculture and horticulture sector, direct air connectivity between Srinagar-Dubai, subsidy on international freight, enhancement of cargo handling capacity of Srinagar airport terminal among other factors were also discussed in the meeting.

Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production & Farmers’ Welfare, Navin Kumar Choudhary shared his experience and observations from last year’s visit to UAE-India Food Security Summit-2020. He informed that the Lulu Group and other major players from Dubai are ready to invest heavily in Jammu & Kashmir and open their supermarkets also.

A detailed proposal for imparting Skill Development & Digital Marketing among the youth of J&K by Global KP Business Foundation, having members across the globe, was also discussed at the meeting who were connected through weblink. The Principal Secretary laid stress on organising Vocational Leadership Skills, training sessions, awareness seminars and other programmes for the youth of UT.